Approvals flow for Paonia water projects

By Tamie Meck


Approvals flow for Paonia water projects | Paonia, water,

Photo by Tamie Meck A worker with WestWater Engineering inspects the floor of the 1 million-gallon water storage tank on Lamborn Mesa last summer after water pressure damaged the structure. Work on the town's water distribution system will continue throug

Work should begin soon on the Third Street water line replacement and water delivery system upgrades projects on Lamborn Mesa after Paonia trustees approved related proposals at the March 8 board meeting.

Funding comes from the original $6 million water distribution improvement project and money that was shifted from water storage projects to water distribution projects, said town manager Jane Berry. Funds include a $1 million grant from the state Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Assistant Funds, of which half has been spent, and an approximately $3.58 million reimbursement loan from the Colorado Water Resources Power Development Authority, the agency through which the state administers loan funding for the state's revolving water funds.

Of that loan, payable over 20 years at 1.75-percent interest, $850,000 is in loan forgiveness and won't have to be repaid, said Berry. If the town applied for the loan today, it wouldn't qualify for loan forgiveness due to more stringent regulations. "That level of forgiveness is unusual," said Berry. "It's a tremendous gift to the town."

The town approved WestWater Engineering to provide engineering services for four out-of-town water line replacement projects at a cost of $198,700.

Projects include installation of 2,800 linear feet of line from the 2 million-gallon Upper Lamborn Mesa Water Treatment Plant to Roeber Road; 7,895 linear feet of 8-inch waterline from Roeber Road to the intersection of Lamborn and Stewart Mesa roads; installation of 3,380 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe to replace a dead-end 5-inch steel pipe extending off the 8-inch line; and 5,995 linear feet of 6-inch line from east of the lower Clock Water Treatment facility to the half-million-gallon storage tank near Cresthaven Road.

Work is estimated to take four months. Paonia-based Wilmore and Company Land Surveying will provide surveying services.

Once engineering work is complete, the town can put the jobs out for bid. Trustee David Bradford, who serves on the public works committee, said that once costs are known, the town can determine what it can afford, prioritize and scale back if necessary.

A fifth project to install a pressure relief valve vault east of town near Minnesota Creek Road is also a top priority and will be completed by the town.

WWE first submitted its engineering proposal in February, at a cost of $145,800. When the town determined it couldn't provide oversight of the project, WWE modified the scope to include full-time inspection and materials testing.

Trustees also approved a proposal from Glenwood Springs engineering firm SGM for two Third Street water line replacement and street reconstruction projects. The first project includes bidding and construction services for the pre-designed section of Third Street from Grand Avenue to the railroad tracks. The proposal for that section includes bidding and construction services. Also included in the first project are design, bidding and construction administration services on Box Elder Avenue between Second and Fourth streets.

The second project proposal includes design, bidding and construction services for Third Avenue from the railroad tracks east to Lamborn Avenue.

There are no roundabout plans included in the proposals, said Bradford. Sections chosen were considered top priorities due to the high number of water and sewer main problems reported in those areas in recent years. SGM estimates the total cost at $221,743.

Bradford said the town is actively seeking grants and revenue sources for street paving. There will likely be a period of time where sections aren't paved, said Bradford, and it's the town's intent not to leave sections unpaved for an extended period of time.

Trustees also approved a proposal from WWE for design and installation of a splitter/diversion box on the town's German Creek Springs raw water pipeline just below the U.S. Forest Service boundary on Mount Lamborn. The project is in response to a 2012 letter from the division engineer for the Division of Water Resources, requiring the town to accurately measure and administer water diverted from the springs. The DWR has determined that the current structure is not satisfactory for administration purposes.

WWE determined that the division's recommended location for the box is problematic and would not be adequate to overcome a hillside just downstream. A box height estimate of 20 to 30 feet high could compensate for the hillside, according to a letter from WWE project manager Stephen LaBonde.

For that reason, the proposal calls for two phases of work. Phase one would determine the location and height of the box, and the second would include the design work, which must be submitted to the Division of Water Resources for approval. The town must then put work out for bid before construction can begin. Trustees put a cap on the project at $25,000.

"Time is of the essence in getting the engineering done," said Berry when trustees considered a separate agenda item to approve box installation. The state is giving the town until July 1 to have the splitter and box operational. After that, the Water Commissioner shall refuse to allow diversion of water to the town's 2 million-gallon tank per state statute, according to a letter from the Department of Natural Resources Division of Water Resources.

With work also hinging on weather, the Division of Water Resources is recommending the town have the date changed through water court to protect the out-of-priority use of the springs.